Hardware and Software Minimum Requirements

Hardware Minimum Requirements

Please keep the following hardware requirements in mind when selecting a laptop to use in the Business School. Systems purchased within the past two (2) years will typically be outfitted with the required features. Please confirm that your laptop meets these requirements. Remember that if your laptop does not meet the minimum requirements, among other issues, you will not have access to ITG Support Specialists, who are key to getting your computer configured for the School's network and keeping it correctly configured when you encounter problems. Most critically, your laptop runs the risk of not supporting software that is required for your courses.

For help finding your Windows laptop's hardware specifications see this 1 min video: http://tinyurl.com/windowssysteminfo. For help finding your Mac laptop's hardware specifications see this 1 min video: http://tinyurl.com/macintoshsysteminfo.



Mac OS X


Intel Core i5 and above (such as Intel Core i7, or Intel Core i9) OR the following or above from AMD: Ryzen, Athlon 3000, Athlon PRO, or A-Series PRO
PLEASE NOTE: New Macs with the M chips from Apple that is based on the ARM architecture can only run a new version of Windows for which most software developers have not created a version of their applications; as such those M Macs may become insufficient for your studies at CBS.

Hard Drive

128 Gigabytes (GB)*

128GB+ Solid State Disk (SSD) with at least 50GB of free disk space


8 GB

Wired Networking

Ethernet LAN Port or USB Ethernet Adapter/Dongle

In order to use the CBS wired network connection on your ultra-light or MacBook Air PC, you will need to purchase a USB-to-Ethernet Adapter.

Wireless Networking


* For a significant boost in computing performance, consider a solid state drive (SSD).

Operating System Requirements

Please keep the following supported and unsupported operating systems in mind when purchasing a laptop for Business School.

Supported Operating System(s)

  • Windows 10, Windows 11
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina), macOS 11 (Big Sur), macOS 12 (Monterey).

Unsupported Operating System(s)

  • BETA and newly released versions of any Operating System(s) cannot be guaranteed to work with the Business School resources, including the wired and wireless networks.
  • Windows RT, Windows 8 and older versions
  • Unix, Linux
  • macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and older.

Note: Only Operating Systems and Applications based in the English language are supported by ITG.


Software Requirements

Please keep the following software requirements in mind when configuring your laptop for Columbia Business School.

Office Suite
Microsoft Office 365 (includes Office 365 for Mac and Office 365 ProPlus for Windows) is the version deployed by ITG. For Windows, you may be able to use an earlier version, 2016 or higher, if you cannot upgrade your current version.

  • Your Office Suite must be in English.
  • Full installation is provided free of charge by ITG if needed.

Computer Security
Antivirus and Spyware Protection

  • Must be updated with the latest virus definitions/updates.
  • Required for both Mac and Windows.
  • For Windows: We recommend using the built-in Windows Security.
  • For Macs: We recommend using Malwarebytes. This is also provided to you free of cost through the University.